Hello everybody, 欢迎大家收看今天的成长汉语. It’s great to be here with all of you for another episode of Growing up with Chinese.
上次我跟大家说了可以去听一听中国的音乐. Did any of you manage to find some good Chinese music to listen to? Well don’t worry if you didn’t. Because today, 兰兰 is going to give us an impromptu*1 performance. Indeed, our topic is still music although our focus would be on the ways you can praise someone in Chinese. 不错吧, 那咱们就开始吧. Let’s first check in with our fabulous trio, and see just what’s going on.
小明：哈哈，我看就唱Michael Jackson的歌吧，“Heal the world”怎么样？ 边唱边跳。
Did any of you pick out*2 the tongue twister 小明 said? Pretty crazy, huh? The song 兰兰 saying is quite popular here. In part because it’s almost one big tongue twister. So let’s briefly go through what was just said.
Michael Jackson的歌实在太好听了. 我以前怎么没注意啊. Michael Jackson’s songs are really awesome. How could I have not noticed them before. 实在 means really or totally. 太好听了. Too good to listen to or really awesome. 注意 is to pay attention to, or notice. 以前没注意. Didn’t notice before. 以前怎么没注意. How could I have not noticed or paid attention to them before.
叔叔也是他的歌迷啊, 他可真时髦. Uncle is a fan of his too? Wow, he is really trendy. 时髦 means trendy or fashionable.
兰兰, 你笑什么啊. 你知道吗, 在我爸年轻时, Jackson就是一个特别火的歌星了. 他在全世界有很多的歌迷. 兰兰 what are you laughing at? Did you know that when my dad was young, Jackson was already a famous music superstar? He is got fans all over the world. 特别火的歌星 a very hot popular famous music superstar. 火 means fire, right? So if someone’s on fire, they are popular, right? 歌星 is the shortened form of 唱歌明星.
说得真热闹, 你唱一个, 我帮你看看. Sounds like fun. You sing it, I’ll take a look at it for you. 热闹 literally means heat and noise. And it’s used to refer to something or some place being bustling with energy or a buzz fun.
我们都知道你唱歌特别好听, 根本不用练. 快点儿, 我帮你把伴奏音乐打开. We all know you have a wonderful voice, you don’t need practice at all. Hurry up. I’ll start the backup music. 根本不用练 don’t need to practice at all. 伴奏 is accompaniment, so 伴奏音乐 refers to backup music.
OK, that just about wraps up our general overview for today’s dialogue, now let’s get into some specifics.
All right let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary and then we’ll move onto our radical.
- 实在 really, in all conscience*3. shí zài
- 时髦 fashionable, trendy. shí máo
- 疯狂 crazy, wild. fēng kuáng
- 表演 performance, to perform. biǎo yǎn
We’ve got a really cool radical to talk about today. It’s the sickness radical 病子旁. Now the radical looks like this… This is the 病子旁 and we see it in one of today’s vocabulary words: the 疯 of 疯狂.
OK, that’s 疯. Now 疯 on its own means crazy or insane in a medical context. And our component when I just wrote that’s inside our sickness radical is the character for wind or 风. So here we have a sound and the radical places the character in an illness context. Now many characters that use the sickness radical relate to disease or illness.
For the most part Chinese culture is quite reserved. Some people might say this has to do with ancient Chinese philosophy like the Dao and Yin and Yang. Balance is key. If you strive to be a balanced or reach a balanced state, you’ll probably avoid or try not to act any kind of extreme way because this upsets the balance.
Confucian philosophy emphasizes the harmony of family and society, harmony of the group. And to have harmony, you need balance, right?
Chairman Mao has a famous saying that goes “虚心使人进步, 骄傲使人落后.” Modesty helps one make progress, and pride is how a person falls behind. So, what is this all have to do with praise? Well, a lot.
Think of a balance scale. OK, that’s me. Someone praise me a compliment like “wow, your Chinese is really good.” The scale tips. I’m pleased. If I say “thank you” which is what I would do in my culture, the scale tips even more. If I say “well thank you but there is still a lot more I can learn,” the scale tips back towards being balanced.
Now not too long after my family moved to China, my mom told a friend of hers that she had a beautiful daughter. Her friend’s response was “oh, no, my daughter is too ugly” and the daughter was right there. In America, this would not go over well at all. But in China traditionally, the way you accept a compliment is really to not accept it or simply reject it.
People will accept compliments here. But it is far more common for someone to respond to compliment by saying no no 没有没有 or where where 哪里哪里. It’s not a personal rejection of your compliment or an attempt to say your opinion doesn’t count. It’s just how people here keep the scales balanced.
Today’s language points aren’t too plentiful and the good news is that they’re all relatively straightforward.
So number one. 实在 really, in all conscience. We’re looking at an adverb here and it functions to emphasize something just like really. So 我实在不想去. I really don’t want to go. 她实在太漂亮了. She is totally gorgeous. Now today, 兰兰 said Michael Jackson的歌实在太好听了. Michael Jackson’s songs are totally awesome.
别说 something 就连 something else is used in a compound sentence structure. It expresses that one situation doesn’t really count in comparison to the second situation, which comes obviously and the second half of the sentence. For example, 别说中国人会唱, 就连外国人也都会唱. Chinese people aren’t the only ones who can sing this song, even foreigners know how to sing it.
根本. Today we are looking at 根本 in the context of meaning all, ever or simply. It often appears in a negative form. 根本不用学, doesn’t even need to learn. 根本不用说, doesn’t even need to speak or mention it. 小明 complimented 兰兰 today by saying 根本不用练 about 兰兰’s performance: she is such a good singer, she doesn’t need even practice 根本. Let’s look at some more examples.
All right that pretty much covers everything for today. Now before we say goodbye though, I want to answer a quick note we received from Dan in Australia. Now, he wrote to us and said:
“I know we went over some email vocabulary the other day, but I was wondering if you could mention some internet related vocabulary if you get the chance.”
OK Dan, there is a lot of vocabulary and we are all running out of time for today. But, just a quick overview. The internet in Chinese is called the 互联网 or simply just 网 for short it means net. And if you go online or if you are on the internet, you say 上网. 我现在在上网. I’m on the internet right now. 网站 is how you say website 站 means station so you can see how that word developed, no? 网站. 网页 is web page. Now those are some basics for now, we just might get the chance to cover more internet vocabulary in a later show. So you can think of this kind of is like a sneak peek. Thank you for your letter.
好了, 我们今天实在没有时间了. 下次再说吧. 别忘了, 大家, 可以上我们的网站看看. Ha ha, we’ve already managed to use some of our internet vocabulary. OK, 大家, 加油, good luck with your studies, bye for now.